Although the 7 line has limped to a finish line that always seems to be receding into the future, the MTA insists that Phase 1 of the Second Ave. Subway will open for revenue service in December of 2016 as promised. To that end, the agency announced today that the $332 million contract to complete the station shell at 86th St. has wrapped. Additional finishing work, including on HVAC systems, those pesky elevators and escalators and other architectural details continue, and to commemorate this milestone, the MTA released a new set of photos (embedded above) showing the progress. It’s beginning to look a lot like a subway.
Phase 1 of the Second Ave. Subway is a $4.4 billion extension of the Q north from its current sometimes-terminus at 57th St. and 7th Ave. Using preexisting tunnels, the subway will head north to the unused side of the F train’s 63rd St. station (with a new entrance at 3rd Ave.) before heading north through new tunnels underneath 2nd Ave., making stops at 72nd St., 86th St. and 96th St. Money for the Phase 2 extension to 125th St. has been included in the 2015-2019 Capital Plan, but the MTA, controversially in some circles, has not yet set a firm budget for the project. Meanwhile, the MTA says work on Phase 1 is 76 percent complete, and despite those troubles on the Far West Side, the agency promises an on-time opening. As the cliché goes, only time will tell.
As a coda, the 86th St. station may bring up memories of the second Yorkshire Towers lawsuit against the project. As you may recall, Judge Furman of the Southern District threatened to sanction the attorneys for bringing a frivolous suit and failing to adequately represent previous lawsuits in their 2013 filings. The case was shortly dismissed voluntarily by the plaintiffs thereafter, and all has been smooth sailing, legally, for Phase 1 of the Second Ave. Subway ever since.